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 A pot full of inspirational ideas from Today was Fun®. .  
June 2004 
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If you've seen the film Lost in Translation then you'll understand why I felt like Bill Murray last week when a Japanese film crew came to film us at work and at play.

City Wiz a Japanese cable tv programme-profiles people with an interesting job who manage to balance it with a hobby too. Of course Today was Fun was perfect as we have our Fun Fridays.

We had a translator who made all the communication possible between us and the director and crew. When it came to filming the actual interview however it seems that she understood more than she let on. After each of my answers she gave an endless stream of feedback in Japanese to the interpreter.

It was a little unsettling to have three minutes of feedback translated into three or so words but after a while I knew I was on the right track when I could see the director emphatically nodding in the background.

For all our Japanese readers the programme is called City Wiz and it will air on 17th of June at 21:50 p.m. for everyone else, next time you come to visit ask us to play you the tape.

our ingredients today
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  • Tea time
  • Philosophy tutorial
  • Today's all we've got, and that's a lot.
  • If you love your books, let them go.
  • Duckling update

  • Philosophy tutorial
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    A professor stood before his philosophy class. When the class was ready, he picked up a very large, empty cookie jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

    He then asked the students if the jar was full.

    They agreed that it was.

    So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full.They agreed it was full.

    The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes!"

    The professor then produced two cups of tea from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

    "Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

    The "golf balls" are the important things -- your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favourite passions - Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

    "The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car.... The sand is everything else -- the small stuff."

    If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important !to you." Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

    Play with your children.

    Take time to get medical checkups.

    Take your partner out to dinner.

    Play another 18 holes.

    Take care of the "golf balls" first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

    One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the tea represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked," he said. "It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a cup of tea with a friend!!!"

    with thanks to Carol Schonegeval

    Today's all we've got, and that's a lot.
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    Our readers suggestions are growing. We loved this one from Jane Johnson.

    "One nice idea this time of year is to post a tiny note through someone's letterbox if you think they have a lovely front garden or flowerbox. Let them know they brightened your day.

    My son and I make these notes in advance and carry them in case the opportunity arises to say 'how nice!"

    We'd love to know the little things you do that make a positive difference in our world. »

    If you love your books, let them go.
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    How many of us have bookshelves filled with our favourite books that we dont read anymore?

    Here's the idea. Take one of your books, register it at the BookCrossing site, stick an identifying sticker inside the cover and leave it in a public place.

    If youre lucky someone will find it and register it online. You can then trace your book's journey and the lives that it touches. 985,000 books have already been released "into the wild". Set one free today.

    I want to set my book free »

    Duckling update
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    Thankyou to all the readers who were so concerned about the fate of the ducklings in our last issue.

    We are happy to report that there are currently 7 ducklings growing big and strong on the back of our neighbours boat.They are now three weeks old and almost big enough to fend off the crows singlehandedly.

    When we were asked to help with the weekend feeds we couldnt help but notice one that ate with more gusto that all the others. We have nicknamed him Hoover.

    Tea time
    An old friend from Australia came to visit over the bank holiday weekend. He had just spent three weeks travelling around the globe and we wanted to bake him a cake full of sunshine and good things.

    Inspired by The River Cafe here in London we made a wonderful yellow lemon, almond and polenta cake.

    He immediately asked for the recipe and we promised to send it, so here it is Nic. Safe journey home.

    Sunny lemon polenta cake...

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    . Jump to it...

    What we get up to on Fridays?

    did you like your soup?

    Where to find Happiness

    What can I expect next?

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